The Quinoa Bowl

January 9th, 2014 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

I love this term “quinoa bowl”.  It just sounds so… cozy.  Like we should nestle right in and rest our heads on pillows of soft, fluffy quinoa and take a little nap.

Sweet potato spinach quinoa with cumin

Or just eat it.  That’s fine too.

Over the holidays I tried my hand at Sweet Potato Kale Quinoa Cakes to take to a New Years Eve dinner party, but they were sort of a flop.  They tasted great, but they didn’t hold together very well.  Still, even though the quinoa cakes were a fail, the ingredients were a win and I was left wanting to make it as a dinner side – more specifically, a “quinoa bowl” that I’ve seen around the interwebs and have been excited to steal try.  A quinoa bowl is comfort food with benefits – warm and carby, but some nutritional perks you don’t get with rice or pasta.

(This is what I mean by cutting myself some slack as I have loosened the reigns a bit with my very low-carb approach to eating.  IT’S JUST QUINOA AND IT’S OK! [this is me yelling at myself while lovingly patting myself on the head]).

This cozy quinoa bowl was comprised of:

Approximately 3 c cooked quinoa (1 c uncooked quinoa = 3 cups cooked.  Rinse well in a fine mesh strainer before cooking.)

2 baked sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed after baking

a couple handfuls of spinach sauteed in a little coconut oil

a few cubes of chicken broth (or just a little water as needed)

garlic powder, cumin and salt to taste (or whatever herbs and spice you like, don’t forget turmeric!)

I cooked the quinoa while baking sweet potatoes, chicken and Brussels sprouts in the oven.  When everything was nearly done, I sauteed a couple handfuls of spinach in coconut oil in my dutch oven.  As soon as the spinach was soft, I added the cooked quinoa, broth, sweet potato and spices and cooked on low for a few more minutes while stirring continuously, just to help ensure everything was well mixed and to allow a little liquid to cook off.

Excuse me ma’am, your quinoa bowl is ready.

Quinoa bowl with roasted chicken and Brussels sprouts

With some roasted Brussels sprouts and chicken breast – this was a great dinner, and even better as leftovers the next day.

Quinoa is Affordable!

Quinoa is #21  on the list of 44 healthy foods under $1.  I usually buy Arrowhead Mills quinoa, a 14 oz bag cost me $3.50 at my local Wegmans.  The package contains 9 servings, that works out to be about $0.39 per serving.  Cha-ching!

Quinoa is Good For You!

Quinoa is a complete protein which makes it a great choice for vegetarians.  It’s high in iron and is a source of magnesium, potassium, folate and calcium and is gluten free.

A Few Quinoa Recipe Favorites

Quinoa and kale in a red pepper and tahini sauce to stuff into portabella mushroom caps or as a part of another cozy quinoa bowl.

Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Black Bean and Salsa Soup (an old favorite around here!)

You can add it to chili too – vegetarian or otherwise.

Or just throw some quinoa together with whatever vegetables you’ve got in the fridge.

If you’ve never had quinoa before, know that it’s pronounced “keen-wa” – it might be compared to rice as it’s somewhat similar in texture, but it’s a seed, not a grain.  It has a nutty flavor and can be served warm or cold.

If you’re an old quinoa pro, tell us your favorite way to use it or any recipes you enjoy.  I need to try to black or red quinoa next, quinoa love should know no color!

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2 Responses

  • B. Gomicchio says:

    Yes! I now know what to do with the final bits of my uber-large bunch of kale!!! I seem to always sub kale for spinach and have been eating it in one thing or another multiple days/week the last couple of weeks . . . kale love affair?

    Aaaaanywho, have you tried cooking quinoa in a rice cooker? Uber-easy.

  • I’m glad you are relaxing a bit around carbs! :) It’s certainly not good to go overboard with them, but they are nice once in a while… :) And quinoa is certainly a better choice than rice or pasta.

    I make “bowls” all the time as I do a lot of precooking on Sundays. And then we just throw together all sorts of of different combos for lunches and dinners.